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Title: Volunteering in the higher education curriculum : the politics of policy, practice and participation
Author: Green, Pat
ISNI:       0000 0004 7658 3564
Awarding Body: University of Wolverhampton
Current Institution: University of Wolverhampton
Date of Award: 2018
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This study explores the extent to which government policies for higher education impact upon the ways in which higher education institutions (HEIs) implement these and the students themselves experience their studies. The focus is accredited volunteering in higher education. A case study approach has been undertaken to scrutinise the impact of policy directives on several stakeholders within one post-1992 HEI, the University of Wrottesley (a pseudonym). The methodological approach is qualitative. Semi-structured interviews were carried out with senior university staff and Students Union personnel, and a detailed on-line survey was conducted with three cohorts of students undertaking the Volunteering in the Curriculum (ViC) programme. What emerges is the extent to which the dominant discourse of 'employability' is foregrounded in government policy directives, and the pressures thus placed on the university management of Wrottesley to respond effectively to first destination scores (DHLE). 'Employability' in this sense is understood as a graduate student obtaining employment, rather than a broader sense of good learning which embraces both learning (cognitive, theoretical and practical) and employability (Knight & Yorke, 2004). The findings expose the ways in which volunteering has been drawn into the dominant discourse of 'employability', yet what emerges from the student survey of their participation in the ViC programme is a broader, more nuanced learning experience which draws on both experiential and theoretical learning that encompasses academic studies, personal development, social action and graduate employment. The evidence validates the theoretical and pedagogic practice of ViC whereby students experience holistic learning. Universities such as Wrottesley are missing an opportunity in not embracing wider objectives of initiatives such as ViC which enable enhancement of graduate employability and also learning gain with the development of well rounded critical citizens and institutional permeability between community and the academy.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Accredited student volunteering ; employability ; academic learning ; personal development ; social action